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Special Symposium to Honor Memory of Bryan E. Kohler

Special Symposium to Honor Memory of Bryan E. Kohler

(March 22, 1999)

A special symposium dedicated to the memory of Bryan E. Kohler, a world renowned physical chemist at the University of California, Riverside who died in 1997, is scheduled for Monday, March 22, through Thursday, March 25, at the 217th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim.

"Linear Conjugated Polyenes: A Celebration of the Scientific Career of Bryan Earl Kohler" will include presentations from nearly 30 scientists from around the nation on the topic of polyene spectroscopy, a very active area of research and one in which Dr. Kohler was world renowned. Bruce S. Hudson, a professor of chemistry at Syracuse University, organized the symposium.

Linear conjugated polyenes represent a type of long-chain organic molecule common in both natural and synthetic systems. For example, naturally occurring linear conjugated polyenes are involved in important interactions with light, specifically visual pigments such as those in the retina and carotenoids that are important in photosynthesis, the process that plants use to generate energy. In addition, there are several important synthetic photo reactions that involve linear conjugated polyenes, including the method for production of vitamin D in milk.

Dr. Kohler was a professor of chemistry at UCR from 1985 until his death at the age of 56. Prior to joining UCR, he was a faculty member at Harvard University and Wesleyan University.

During a 30-year research career, Prof. Kohler established world leadership in studies of the interaction of light with linear conjugated polyenes. His laboratory exploited state-of-the-art laser technology and extremely low temperatures to study absorption and emission of light from isolated and cold molecules. Perhaps his most famous research accomplishment was the discovery of a totally unexpected new rule for understanding long-chain organic molecules, namely that these molecules absorb light in ways that are different from traditional expectations. The finding forced a major change of ideas that affects areas ranging from molecular electronic structure to modeling the photochemistry of biologically active polyenes such as vitamin D.

Symposium sessions will be held on Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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